The travel industry is finally getting to see some recovering from the pandemic as countries are changing their travel restrictions bit by bit. What a relief! I’ve been lucky enough to work again since July, and I have already started to see some positive changes. There has been an increase in the passenger counts on flights, which I think is a good sign! To be honest, traveling has been a bit of a taboo during the whole year, until now. I want to share some insights on the current travel restrictions to make your planning a bit smoother. In this post, I will list countries by continent:
- The USA, Caribbean and Latin America
Traveling inside Europe has been relatively easy now for some time. Most countries in Europe are connected to the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) allows restriction-free travel across all EU and EEA countries following proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test. Currently, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Estonia, Sweden, and Finland are open with no restrictions. They don’t require quarantine or a covid test if you are fully vaccinated. Some countries are still requiring passengers to quarantine themselves if arriving from an area with a high number of cases. Most countries require you to fill a health declaration form upon arrival. If you need to take a test at the airport when arriving, you have to self-isolate yourself until you get the test results. Rapid PRC or antigen test is advised, and this is not free of charge. The prices vary between countries. Suppose you are traveling to the EU from outside Europe. In that case, the vaccinated passenger must provide a vaccination certificate, and some countries require you to have a negative COVID test not more than 72 hours before arrival. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine themselves from 5 to 10 days, depending on the country, and provide a negative test result.
The USA, Caribbean and Latin America
The USA has been shut down for quite some time from tourists and other passengers than the citizens, and they have been super strict with their entry policy. But now, the government has decided to loosen up the travel restrictions! From early November (the exact date is not yet out to the public), they are allowing fully vaccinated passengers from the 26 Schengen are countries (these include most of Europe), Ireland, UK, China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil, entering. Unlike in Europe, proof of recovered COVID-19 will not be exempted from the entry ban. Note that the visa and ESTA application processes might still take several weeks to go through. Everything else in the USA is working almost as usual. The shops, restaurants, shopping malls, and bars are open.
Most Caribbean countries are currently open mainly for US passengers; quarantine and COVID tests and certificates may be in place upon arrival. Latin America is still closed for most leisure travel, with the exceptions of Belize and El Salvador. These countries do not require you to quarantine. El Salvador does not require a negative test result from fully vaccinated passengers. However, if traveling to Belize, negative test results are mandatory before entry, whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
Most of Asia is still very cautious about tourism and other unnecessary travel. Currently, the only countries allowing passengers for leisure to enter for a holiday are: Thailand (Phuket being the first to open), South Korea, the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Phuket will allow tourists to enter with their “Sandbox model.” This means that travelers who are fully vaccinated can enter Thailand without quarantine. Fully vaccinated tourists need to stay no less than 14 nights on the island to travel elsewhere in the country. You must remain on the island for seven days (arrivals from 1 October 2021) and get negative COVID-19 test results before traveling to other destinations. Before entering, you are also required to book a hotel in advance from the SHA Plus hotel (government-issued hotels) and book a test directly from Phuket Swab Appointment System (PSAS). You also must have a flight ticket with you, provide a negative COVID test result within 72 before departure to Thailand, and proof of COVID certificate.
Note that all of these countries will require you to quarantine in a government hotel and provide a negative test result upon arrival or within 72 of departure. The quarantine period varies from 2 nights to 14 days, depending on the country and if you are fully vaccinated. Note that even fully vaccinated passengers are required to quarantine for a certain period. Some countries also need you to have a certificate of travel insurance. It’s also good to keep in mind that the government assigned hotels for the quarantines are much more expensive than the other accommodations would be in a normal situation. When adding all the costs together, it could require some amount of money at the moment to have a holiday in Asia.
Australia is still strictly closed for all other travelers than citizens or permanent residents. The 14-day quarantine remains for passengers entering from abroad.
All African countries are open for travelers from Europe, the US, and other African countries. Most countries require you to quarantine yourself upon arrival, and all countries require a negative test result prior to entry.
Traveling at the moment requires a bit more effort, research, and checklists. Traveling without complete vaccinations also requires some extra planning, but it’s not impossible. Many countries are still facing difficult times, and we just have to hope that the situation gets better for everyone. I hope this article was helpful, and feel free to drop a comment below!Connect with me